Sustainable & Smart Space Cooling Coalition in India

The Coalition’s work is meant to amplify India’s substantial progress developing and implementing cooling policies for the commercial and residential sectors

Recently, the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation and the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy developed a coalition of research and academic institutions, industry associations, and non-profit organizations to form the Sustainable and Smart Space Cooling Coalition. The Coalition is building India’s transition to a sustainably cooled environment with the objective of providing thermal comfort for all through advanced research, analysis, joint policy recommendations, and facilitating market transformation.

As an initial task, the Coalition members jointly prepared the “Thermal Comfort for All: Sustainable and Smart Space Cooling” analysis, authored by the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE). The analysis

  • brings together dispersed sustainable and smart space cooling strategies, as well as the independent initiatives from the government and the private sector; and
  • proposes a set of recommendations designed to promote the vision of thermal-comfort-for-all through the use of energy efficient and environmentally sustainable cooling strategies and technologies.

Based on this analysis, the Coalition made several recommendations. Thermal Comfort for All recommends aligning priorities with the Government of India’s ongoing efforts to provide a better quality of life for its citizens by

  • leveraging ongoing government initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,
  • requiring all new government-funded buildings to incorporate key Coalition cooling strategies, and
  • instituting comprehensive legislation to shape a viable market for smart cooling.

The Coalition’s work is meant to amplify India’s substantial progress developing and implementing cooling policies for the commercial and residential sectors. CLASP supported this effort through key technical advisement.

The Bureau of Energy Efficiency’s (BEE) appliance energy efficiency program is a cornerstone of India’s climate change mitigation agenda. In 2015, BEE began an ambitious effort to develop first-of-their kind policy roadmaps for nearly every type of residential and commercial air conditioning product on the market.

Resulting from this effort, the Ministry of Power implemented a minimum energy performance standard revision for fixed-speed ACs in 2016, with estimated carbon emissions reductions of 163.6 Mt of CO₂ cumulatively through 2030. Also in 2016, CLASP completed a comprehensive market and economic assessment for chillers – central AC units for large commercial spaces. Our analysis shows that a 40% improvement in chillers’ energy consumption will significantly reduce energy demand from buildings and avoid an estimated 27.12 Mt of CO₂ in 2020. BEE is developing S&L for chillers, and coordinating with the Energy Conservation Building Code on efficiency levels for building codes as well.

In 2018, a new policy will significantly improve stringency for fixed-speed ACs (already mandatory under the S&L program) and inverter ACs (not previously mandatory under the program), and include an India-specific test method that will reflect seasonal temperatures. As opposed to ACs with fixed speed compressors, inverter technology consumes 30-40% less power. This story received some press in India.


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